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Pavlik Needs an Opponent

(Photo © German Villasenor)
(Photo © German Villasenor)


It was officially announced on Thursday that Andre Ward’s shoulder, injured last month during training, would keep him from performing on March 2nd. By this time, Ward had already pushed back his bout against Kelly Pavlik a few times from its original date of January 26th.
 
Ward released the following statement: “When I first got injured, there was a lot of inflammation and the MRI was misread by the first radiologist. I’ve been doing extensive rehab and the shoulder was getting stronger but after three-and-a-half weeks of rehab, there was still slight pain that had me concerned enough to get two additional opinions. It was then diagnosed that there is a small tear in my shoulder capsule. It’s not a major tear but I can either rest it and see if it heals itself or speed up the process by surgically repairing it and be stronger than I was before the injury and that’s what we opted to do.”

Ward, the reigning super middleweight champion of the world (and scheduled to go through a surgical procedure in the Bay Area next week), added, “I’m working with one of the best orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists in Northern California and I know that I will come back stronger than before. I appreciate all the support that I’ve already received and my fans can rest assured that I’m going to be back in the ring as soon as possible. Despite the injury, I still plan to have a big 2013 and hope to have two fights in the New Year. I was really looking forward to the fight with Pavlik. Everything was on board and situations happen but I wish Kelly Pavlik and his team nothing but the best in the future.”
 
This now leaves Pavlik with an open dance date.
 
“Well, we’re going to do something with Kelly Pavlik,” said his promoter, Bob Arum, after the news broke. “Carl Moretti is working on it now. Obviously, he wanted to do the fight with Ward but it can’t happen for awhile. But we’ll have Kelly in the ring by March.” Moretti told Maxboxing, “I think every ‘60 to ‘68-pounder is a possibility but given the time with this just happening and the holidays, I wouldn’t say any traction has been made.”
 
Two names being mentioned for “The Ghost” of Youngstown, Ohio are Arthur Abraham (who holds a belt at super middleweight) and Lucian Bute.
 
“Kelly wants to fight big fights,” said his manager, Cameron Dunkin. “He had two warm-up fights, one in San Antonio and then he had the fight on ESPN here in Vegas and then he got the “[Boxing] After Dark” shot with Will Rosinsky and he was happy about that. But he wanted to continue going forward and nothing really happened and he just keeps telling me, ‘Cameron, I want to fight big fights. I don’t want to fight small, little fights anymore. I want to fight on the big stage and if I can’t do it, I’ll retire. I want to fight big fights.’”
 
When asked if either Abraham or Bute were realistic, Dunkin answered, “I don’t know but those were the ones I said, ‘Absolutely,’ and I told Bob to reach out and do what he could do. I know Kelly’s all for it and I just don’t know what their schedules are and it’s really going to be up to them. We’re definitely into fighting these guys.” (Bute is a huge draw in Montreal and most likely a Bute-Pavlik fight would take place at the Bell Centre. As for the possibility or willingness to travel to Germany to face Abraham, Dunkin stated, “I think so, yeah. Kelly has said before that he would.”)
 
However, remember this: This wasn’t Top Rank’s date with HBO (which was to have televised this affair). Pavlik isn’t guaranteed to be on this slot.
 
Moretti points out, “The whole scenario is different now because this was Andre Ward and Dan Goossen making an offer we accepted. We weren’t really in a position of making the offer. Now, it takes a whole new dynamic where we’re trying to make a whole new match with Kelly Pavlik. So everything changes, the date, the site, the opponent, who you’re working with, what makes sense, strategy. All that stuff.”
 
INTERBUTE
 
Had a chance to talk to Jean Bedard of InterBox (which handles Bute) for a few minutes on Thursday evening. He made it clear that they are absolutely interested in a spring showdown with Pavlik.
 
As for the contracted rematch with Carl Froch, that will be pushed back into the second half of 2013. Froch looks like he’ll be taking on Mikkel Kessler in a rematch.
 
Also, Bedard noted that Bute would be getting married in June.
 
So there’s your Bute update.
 
FLASH
 
So what’s next for the consensus 2012 “Fighter of the Year,” Nonito Donaire? Well, Arum isn’t wavering from his comments in Houston (where Donaire blew out Jorge Arce a couple of weeks ago).
 
“We want him to fight [Guillermo] Rigondeaux. Absolutely.”
 
So does that mean that any possibility of a Donaire-Abner Mares fight has evaporated?
 
“I think the Mares fight can be made and we’ll try to get that done,” said Arum, who pointed out that Mares has a WBC mandatory obligation to fulfill. Should that get taken care of (and assuming Donaire also defeats the talented Cuban), Arum stated, “Then what we’ll do is offer Golden Boy a substantial sum of money for Golden Boy and Mares. If they take it, fine; if they don’t take it, we move on.”
 
(There’s also rumors that Arum is looking to stage Donaire’s next bout in Macau. Yeah, here we go again with that business...)
 
FRIDAY FLURRIES
 
According to Stephen Espinoza of Showtime, Hank Lundy is all set to go versus Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse on January 26th  Y’ know, with Lundy, there always seem to be issues, aren’t there?...By the way, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer says that card will take place at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas...It looks more and more like Gavin Rees will get the assignment against Adrien Broner on February 16th in Atlantic City on HBO...Golden Boy, which has recently applied for a U.K. promotional license, announced the signing of 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Anthony “Wake Me up Before You” Ogogo (yes, I just went all Chris Berman and dropped a “Wham” reference)...OK, so what happens to the Chris Arreola-Bermane Stiverne fight (which was supposed to lead-off the HBO broadcast prior to Ward-Pavlik)? Is there any chance that fight stays on March 2nd and HBO makes it a “Boxing After Dark”? Never, ever, ever, ever count out Al Haymon and his influence...San Jose State had a great season on the gridiron; didn’t they? How ’bout them Spartans?...Is it just me or is Kobe not allowing Steve Nash be Steve Nash enough of the time?...



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